Bellevue, Wash. - T-Mobile accelerated the launch of its first Samsung Galaxy-class smartphone to today (July 15) to become the first U.S. carrier to offer Samsung's flagship Android phone.
T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy phone, the Samsung Vibrant, was originally scheduled for launch on July 21, but then AT&T announced plans to launch its version, the Samsung Captivate, starting Sunday, July 18. Both retail for $199.
T-Mobile denied that it accelerated its launch date to claim bragging rights to being first. "T-Mobile is excited to make the Vibrant available to its customers and wanted to get the phone in their hands as early as possible, which is the reason for the earlier launch date," a spokesperson said.
The phone is available at T-Mobile retail stores, select authorized dealers and partner locations and
, she said.
Carriers Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular also plan to offer Galaxy phones this year but haven't specified launch dates.
All versions of Samsung's flagship phone feature Android 2.1 OS, 4-inch multi-touch touchscreen with virtual QWERTY keyboard, 1GHz Samsung processor, 720p high-definition video capture and playback, 5-megapixel camera/camcorder with autofocus and LED flash, six-axis sensor, stereo Bluetooth, DLNA-certified 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 16GB of embedded memory, microSD slot for additional memory, and Samsung-proprietary Super AMOLED LCD display for a thinner, brighter and less reflective display.
The phones will also access Samsung's Social Hub, which aggregates social network, email, contacts and calendars.
Each carrier's version differs slightly.
T-Mobile's touchscreen-only version will come with included 2GB memory card loaded with James Cameron's "Avatar" movie, preloaded Amazon Kindle for Android app, MobiTV service to stream live and on-demand TV content over 3G, and Slacker Radio.
Sprint's version will feature a slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, 4G data and two cameras. One camera will be front-facing for video chatting over data. Verizon and Sprint said their touchscreen models would be equipped with an embedded Wi-Fi hotspot, but AT&T's touchscreen version will not offer the embedded hot spot.
In addition, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile said their models would access the Samsung Media Hub, which will be available "in the coming months" to download movies and TV shows from Paramount for rent or purchase. The other carriers haven't mentioned Media Hub availability.